Playdown entries needed

Several of next year’s competitions will need playdowns soon and we need entries urgently.

When planning for playdowns, it is difficult to be sure how may teams will enter, and therefore difficult to book the right number of sheets well in advance. There are at least three competitions for which playdowns may need to be held before the end of this season, and it looks as if only the Dumfries Ice Bowl can accommodate us. (They hosted the Seniors Playdowns very efficiently.

  • The European Mixed will be held early next season, but WCF have not yet announced a date or venue. (It is rumoured that it will be at Murrayfield in September.)
  • The European C competition (men and women) will be held early next season, but no date or venue has been announced yet.
  • We hope to hold a Mixed Doubles competition (though not just for teams to compete in the 2014 competition).

Entries for all these competions are invited before 14 February 2013, with appropriate Playdowns and the Irish Mixed Doubles to be held in March or early April. Please send details of teams of qualified players to me at or at 01896 849626. If in doubt as to who might be available and interested, I have the names from a recent survey of women players made by Carolyn Hibberd.

John Burns (Secretary)

Irish Win One Out Of Three at Four

ICA president, Bill Gray, accepts the Marshall Millenium Trophy from Jenny Bain, the RCCC Ladies Branch President.

AT the popular Four Nations event at Ayr Ice Rink at the weekend,  Ireland beat Scotland but lost to Wales and England.

This was still a fine show as all the scores were close and one  shot or two made the difference. A big pat  on the back to all the curlers who made the effort to be there as  travelling conditions were difficult. Some of the English squad didn’t make it  up at all after their flights north  were cancelled.

Last year Ireland won two trophies and the year before all three,  so let’s all hope that the emerging pattern here doesn’t come to it’s natural  conclusion with Ireland winning zero trophies in 2014!

This event is always one of the most enjoyable curling weekends  socially and after an excellent meal in the ice rink on the Saturday night, John  Munro from Stranraer had the dance floor jumping with his portable disco. The  Pres and the press officer did their, now traditional, audition for Strictly to  the strains of “New York, New York”.

Curling wise – some very good, some good, some not so good. The  ice conditions were a shade tricky, especially in the later sessions, but it was  great to see young girls playing for Ireland! Helen Wilson and Alison Fyfe will  hopefully follow in their dad’s footsteps and represent Ireland at international  level. Neither seemed to be TOO traumatised after emerging from their first Four Nations experience.

Next year it is Ireland’s turn to host the Four Nations and with  the fabled rink in Dublin gone down the toilet the venue is still up for grabs.  President Bill is in negatiations with various ice rinks – all keen to host such  a prestigious event. The ICA blog will  soon reveal the  winner in a world exclusive – as soon as the committee make up their  minds who that is.

Watch this space……

Curling for Ireland in the Four Nations were:

Bill Gray, David Whyte, Alan Mitchell, Arran Cameron, PJ Wilson,  John Burns, Steve Callan, Jim Nixon, Neil Fyfe, John Furey, David Smith, Jim  Winning, David Hume, Yvonne Chalmers, Liz McKay, Louise Kerr, Frances Whyte,  Christine Furey, Fiona Turnbull, Helen Wilson, Sue Scotland, Christina Graham,  Kathie Nixon, Marie O’Kane and Alison Fyfe.

Four Nations RESULTS

Saturday 19th January

MEN V Scotland – 8-5 win

LADIES V Scotland – 6-7 loss

MIXED V Wales – 8-6 win & 6-7 loss

MIXED V England – 7-7 peel & 5-7 loss

Sunday, 20th January

MIXED V Scotland – 5-2 win & 5-8 loss

MEN V Wales – 6-9 loss

LADIES V Wales – 4-7 loss

MIXED V England – 10-3 win & 2-8 loss






Four Nations weekend looms

IRISH curlers will be gathering at Ayr Ice Rink this weekend for the annual Four Nations Championship.

For the last two years the Irish squads have pulled off some remarkable last gasp victories against the other home nations. Last year, at Greenacres, they saw off both Wales and England by one shot  after all the games were played, but lost out to Scotland.

The year before, down in the depths of rural Kent at Fenton’s, they won all three trophies. Once again, they scraped past Wales and England by the one shot and beat Scotland by seven shots.

The usual suspects will be on the ice with the addition of two cracking young lady curlers – Helen Wilson and Alison Fyfe – who are both very welcome additions to the ranks of the ICA.

Games are as follows:

Saturday 19th – 9.00am – Men & Women V Scotland / 12noon – Mixed V Wales / 3.00pm – Mixed V England.

Sunday 20th – 9.00am – Mixed V Scotland / 11.30am – Men & Women V Wales / 2.00pm – Men & Women V England.

Pistol Pete wins the Dumfries showdown

WHEN the dust had settled around Dumfries last weekend it was the challengers, Team Wilson, that took the prize of a trip to Canada in April to represent Ireland in the World Senior Curling Championships, leaving the current World Champions, Team Kenny, face down in the dirt.

Peter Wilson, PJ Wilson, Neil Fyfe and Tom Roche were the best team during the play-offs and had their trip across the pond sown up by game four in a best of five challenge.

Most of those who had travelled down to Dumfries to watch were hoping that this would go to a fifth and deciding game on the Sunday afternoon and when Johnjo’s team engineered a big four in the sixth end of game four to go two up it seemed that was what would happen. But slack shots under pressure from the defending champions and accurate ones from their opposition saw the Wilson rink score a two to level in the seventh and steal a three to win in the last end.

Congratulations to the two Peters, Neil and Tom, they will do a fine job in Fredericton and everyone in the ICA will be cheering them on.

When you think about it, history was definitely on their side last weekend as skip Peter Wilson has taken down a world champion before. Thirty-two years ago Peter challenged and beat the 1980 World Junior Champion Andrew McQuistin at Stranraer Ice Rink to qualify for the Scottish Junior Championships which he also won. He and his rink then went on to win the World Junior title for Scotland in Megeve, France in 1981.

Fiercely and uncompromisingly competitive, he will now be very, very determined to make sure that the result is the same this time round. The world of senior curling has been warned – Peter the Great is on his way……

But let’s not forget our current World Senior Champions – Johnjo Kenny, Bill Gray, David Whyte, Tony Tierney and David Hume.

They have done us proud and put Irish curling on the map. And perhaps what they achieved in Taarnby last year may never be repeated. Those of us who were lucky enough to be there will never forget it as long as we are fit to throw a curling stone.

They have also been great ambassadors for Irish curling and conducted themselves with great dignity in defeat – painful though it was.

They just never hit the purple patch of form that made them such a force last April. Back then there was nothing to lose, every win was a bonus and the great shots flowed from their fingertips. But, this time the enormity of the task – defending the title in Canada – and how much they wanted it – seemed to inhibit them.

All other amateur psychologists out there will have a different theory!

But although bitterly disappointed to lose out on the holy grail of a world championships in Canada there has never been any tantrums or tirades if things don’t go to plan.

That, as much as anything, won them a world title.

Seniors Playdowns 2012 – results

The best-of-five mens senior playdown for the right to represent Ireland at the World Senior Curling Championship in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada in April are now in progress.

The challenge between JohnJo Kenny’s rink of Bill Gray, David Whyte and Tony Tierney and Peter Wilson’s rink of PJ Wilson, Neil Fyfe and Tom Roche takes place at Dumfries Ice Bowl from 11th-13th January, 2013.

The Dumfries Ice Bowl is providing live streaming of the seniors playdowns on its webcam. The games can also be watched later from its video library, in case you miss the big shots.

Results so far are:

Friday 11th Jan 2013: 6.00pm – Peter Wilson wins 8 – 3.
Saturday 12th Jan 2013: 1st session – 10.00am; Johnjo Kenny wins 5 – 4.
Saturday 12th Jan 2013:2nd session – 3.00pm – Peter Wilson wins 7 – 2.
Sunday 13th Jan 2013: 1st session – 9.00am – Peter Wilson wins 8 – 5.
The team of Peter Wilson, PJ Wilson, Neil Fyfe and Tom Roche win the Men’s Senior Challenge 3 – 1 and will represent Ireland at the World Senior Curling Championships in Canada in April.

Seniors Playdowns

The man with the golden gun

Pistol Pete

The World Senior Men’s Curling Champions – Johnjo Kenny, Bill Gray, David Whyte, Tony Teirney and David Hume begin the defence of their title this weekend at Dumfries.

The world champs will play a best of five challenge against the rink of Peter Wilson, PJ Wilson, Neil Fyfe and Tom Roche.

This has all the hallmarks of a high-noon showdown as two old gunslingers amble down the street towards each other, with their respective gangs of assorted ne’er do wells lined up behind.

From the East comes Desperate Dan Kenny, fuelled with cow pie and deadly on the draw. From the West comes Pistol Pete, fuelled with pure testosterone and stroking his huge diamond encrusted revolver.

There is, not surprisingly, huge interest in the playdowns and many members of the Irish Curling Association are making the trip to Dumfries to see the action – on and off the ice!

The showdown, sorry playdown, begins at 6pm this Friday night and then continues on Saturday at 10am and 3pm. If things go down to the wire the deciding games will be 9am and 2pm on Sunday.

You’d be mad to miss this one…..